Russian ‘spies’ held after ‘spraying chemical at troops in factory break-in’

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THREE Russian ‘spies’ have been arrested after attempting to break into a weapons factory in Albania, local media reports.

One of the invaders allegedly sprayed soldiers guarding the facility in the central town of Gramsh with chemicals during the break in.

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Two Albanian soldiers were left in hospital following the attackCredit: Albanian Army

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A soldier lies in a hospital in the Albanian capital Tirana following the attackCredit: JOQ

A physical fight then broke out between the Russians and Albanian guardsman, Albanian Daily News reported.

Director of the Uzina e Municioneve factory, Lorenc Zani, said two Albanian soldiers were left hospitalised following the assault on Saturday evening.

They were taken to a hospital in the capital Tirana, around 70 miles from the plant.

Kreshnik Ajazi, head of the Prosecution of Elbasan county, where the attack unfolded, confirmed to ABC three Russians had been arrested and are being investigated by anti-terror cops in the Balkan country.

Two of the men allegedly hold Russian and one a Ukrainian passport.

Photographic equipment was found and seized from the trio and photos of the plant were also found on memory cards.

It is not clear why the men targeted the plant in Gramsh but military weapons are believed to be held inside.

In a statement, the Albanian Ministry of Defence said: “An incident happened this evening at the Military Plant in Gramsh.

“Three citizens with Russian and Ukrainian passports tried to enter the factory.

“The officers who were guarding the plant reacted immediately, but during the efforts to stop the 3 foreign nationals, two of our soldiers were injured, who are under the care of doctors at the trauma hospital in Tirana.

“The foreign nationals have been detained by the authorities, while the investigations continue to clarify the circumstances of the event.”

Reuters reported how during the period of Communist rule under Enver Hoxha, the Gramsh plant was used to produce the Russian type of the AK-47 rifle.

But weapons have not been produced at the factory since 1993.

Until 2004, the plant assembled and adjusted weapons, then up to last year the plant was used to dissemble weaponry.

But the factory has remained guarded by the Albanian army, Albanian news site Telegrafi reported.

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Images from 2012 show an Albanian worker destroying ammunition inside the Gramsh factoryCredit: Alamy

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